18:04 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Putin did not push Dzasokhov to retire

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - Meeting today President Alexander Dzasokhov of North Ossetia (a republic in the Northern Caucasus), Vladimir Putin said: "I remember our conversation several months ago. I am not pushing you to retire - it is your choice."

    He said he was not indifferent to Dzasokhov's opinion about the future government in the republic. "As regards the age, time comes when one has to make one's mind. But your experience and knowledge will be of value in practical work," added Vladimir Putin.

    "I want to thank you for the work done. I remember all the dramatic situations at different times, I know it was a hard experience for all the people in the republic and for you who feels his responsibility for everything, including things that are formally not your competence as head of the republic. It is really an immense pressure to bear," said Putin.

    Alexander Dzasohov confirmed that his retirement was a conscious act targeted at giving room to a younger but mature generation. "If I quit, my heart and my mind will be with my republic. I will contribute my experience and advice by all means," said Dzasokhov.

    He thanked the Russian president for the support and warm words rendered when his republic suffered major upheavals.

    Dzasokhov whose presidential tenure expires in January 2006 filed his retirement yesterday.

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